Killer Mike Argues Not Much Has Changed For Blacks Since The Death Of Emmett Till (Audio)

Killer Mike is working to bring real change to a system that may be against him. The co-founder of Run The Jewels is leading a successful, nationwide charge to urge dissatisfied humans of all races to pull their money out of financial institutions that don’t value them back. In his music and in interviews, the Atlanta, Georgia MC has long reflected on prejudice, racism, and institutional injustice.

Working with artist Fahamu Pecou (who created the cover art to Mike’s acclaimed R.A.P. album), “Emmett Still” is a chilling comparison of the 1955 unpunished murder of a 14 year-old Emmett Till to present day circumstances. This time, Pecou (who is also an academic) gets on the microphone. He chronicles (in verse) the open casket funerals still taking place in 2010s—and the parents burying their children, at the hands of police brutality and profiling. Mike follows, with a pounding verse that attacks the hatred and fears that face President Barack Obama, or a teenager going to the store. Mike raises his voice and his fist, refusing to accept this reality.

In addition to Mike and Pecou, there is some historic footage in the intro and outro of author James Baldwin speaking in 1965 at Cambridge University. According to Creative Loafing (who premiered the song), the event was a debate-talk themed upon “Is the American Dream at the expense of the American Negro?”

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I represent the people Po-Po never loved / A hundred years ago we was lynched, we was drug / A hundred years later still face down in the mud / But I’ma tell you dirty ass devils one fact / You better get hip ’cause we will shoot back.” – Killer Mike

Read more in Creative Loafing’s in-depth interview with Pecou, and his inspiration for the song title.

This track is produced by NerdPac. It will appear on four-track EP of the same name as the single.